Evidence File 2025 Focused Visit

In spring 2022, the Higher Learning Commission(HLC) conducted a year-4 visit of Highlands University (NMHU). This hybrid (on-campus and on-line) visit was part of a 10-Year cycle and was a full comprehensive visit under the HLC’s five criterion areas. On June 26, 2023, the HLC Board of Trustees, after delays in finalizing the report due to numerous issues affecting NMHU because of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fires, issued a final finding. The board’s HLC Action Letter reaffirmed the accreditation of NMHU with an interim monitoring component.

This reaffirmation means that the HLC found NMHU to be fully accredited while needing to strengthen processes in two specific areas. These processes will be thoroughly reviewed during a planned Focused Visit in Fall 2025. Planning and implementation will begin immediately to strengthen and document advancement in these areas. The next full comprehensive visit looking at the entire institution will occur sometime in 2027 or 2028.

A Focused Visit means the HLC will revisit the NMHU campus to only look at these two specific areas:

Criterion 4B “the institution engages in ongoing assessment of student learning as a part of its commitment to the educational outcomes of the students.

Criterion 5B “the institution’s resource base supports its educational offerings and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.”

Under Criterion 4B the HLC will visit to verify progress in faculty and staff collecting and analyzing data assessing student learning as well as provide evidence that the data is being used for continuous institutional improvements. The assessments should include evidence that students demonstrate mastery of the curricular and co-curricular learning outcomes and that faculty understand the difference between grading and authentic and direct assessment measures.

Under Criterion 5B the HLC has three concerns that will need to be tested: 1) Confirm that the third-party vendor successfully transitioned payroll processing to minimize future complaints related to issues such as the accuracy of paychecks, third-party withholding and deductions, and benefits associated with payroll management; 2) Evaluate the institution’s progress regarding staffing issues, particularly in the human resources and payroll departments, to include recruitment, retention, and ongoing training of employees as well as verifying that sufficient and qualified personnel are on staff resulting in increased HR services and improved accuracy of their work mitigating future risk to the institution; and, 3) Confirm that the institution addressed repeat findings identified in the FY22 audit.

This web page lists some of the documentary evidence that will be presented to the HLC for the Focused Visit. Please note that this is a work in progress as we will be frequently updating and adding new documents to this webpage. If you have any questions about the evidence file that we are assembling, or have any suggestions about additional documents that might be included, please contact Dr. Keith Tucker at rktucker@nmhu.edu.

Student Outcome Assessment (Criterion 4B)

Payroll (Criterion 5B)

Staffing (Criterion 5B)

Repeat Audit Findings (Criterion 5B)